Charles Dean (Doox) Prangley

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1 Charles Dean (Doox) Prangley Birth and Family Charles Dean Prangley was born on the 16 th March 1897 at 90 Harley Street in London. His father was Charles Wilton Prangley who at the time of his birth was Curate of Colkirk, Fakenham in Norfolk. His mother was Elizabeth Prangley nee Richardson. In 1899, when he was two years old, his mother died in Norfolk aged 39. In 1901, his father and grandmother were living at the Vicarage of Potter Heigham in Norfolk. In 1902 on the 30 th April his father married Elizabeth Reid in Kensington. Elizabeth Reid was the 8 th of 9 children of Thomas Reid a wealthy Dyer and East India Merchant who lived at Kilmardinny House in Bearsden just north of Glasgow. In 1911 his father became vicar of Bexwell near Downham Market in Norfolk. 1

2 Elizabeth Reid (on the left) aged 13 in 1885 with her sisters Mary, Isabella, Margaret & Alice Jane. Rev Charles Wilton Prangley 2

3 Education Charles Dean Prangley known as Doox was educated at South Lodge, Lowestoft, and then at Marlborough College until July War Service He had passed the entrance exams for Jesus College Cambridge but instead he enlisted in the army becoming a 2nd Lieutenant in the 1st Battalion (10th Foot) of the Lincolnshire Regiment in B Company. He served in France from the 13 th July 1916 in the middle of the Battle of the Somme. On the 25 th September 1916 at 12.35pm, B Company left Switch Trench as part of the advance on Gueudecourt with their objective being Grid Trench. He was killed by a shell splinter at 12.40pm. Map showing Switch Trench just south of Flers and the objective Grid Trench His Captain wrote: "He was a singularly thoughtful fellow in every way. He worked and led as an officer should, and he proved himself self-reliant and trustworthy. He did not grouse, but worked for his men and his regiment with all his might. I had absolute confidence in him, and knew him well enough that when the hour came he would not fail. He died leading his 3

4 men - a soldier could not ask more. He would have made a good officer had his life been spared," and a brother officer, who went into action with him: "He died facing the enemy and leading his men, and giving of his best for his country; what could one do better?" Aftermath On the 28 th September the War Office sent a telegram to Bexwell Rectory with the notification of his death: Telegram from War Office He left his personal effects for 2nd Lieutenant Dring to take care of consisting of a wrist watch, purse, revolver, holster, letter and cheque book. 4

5 Burial He is buried at The Guard s Cemetery Lesboeuf, Grave ref V. D. 7. Modern Satellite map showing Flers (just south of which he advanced from), Gueudecourt the objective, and Lesboeufs to the south west of which is his burial ground. 5

6 Father s Memorial Book His father had a beautifully illustrated special memorial book commissioned for him. The cover is of wood taken from a tree in the rectory garden with a gold cross formed from his mother's wedding ring. At the back is a beautiful watered silk which came from his mother's wedding dress. The book, known as the Doox Book, is now at St George's Memorial Church in Ypres with a copy at Bexwell Church in Norfolk. The Doox Book 6

7 Quis Separabit His father also wrote a book called Quis Separabit in memory of him. Extracts from Quis Separabit (kindly sent by Elizabeth Howard) 7

8 Memorial Cross Stone cross at the parish boundary of Bexwell and Ryston in Norfolk 8

9 Memorial at Bexwell Church Original Wooden Cross taken from the Somme Battlefield, now at Bexwell Church 9

10 William Bridge, Elizabeth Bridge, and Nick Pratt at the memorial cross at Bexwell Church on the 25th September 1916 after the centenary Memorial Compline Service to C D Prangley and L H Pratt. (Photo courtesy of Angela Vigrass). 10

11 References Family tree created by Alice Mary Goldie Hall (her mother Alice Jane Reid was the sister to Elizabeth Prangley nee Reid) The Reid Saga by Linnhe Reid Service Record of Charles Dean Prangley at the National Archives Kew, Ref: WO 339/ Article by John Pollock whose mother was Doox s cousin. (She was Gertrude B Prangley the daughter of George Dean Prangley who was the elder brother of Charles Wilton Prangley) Article by Elizabeth Howard a local historian at Bexwell, Downham Market Quis Separabit memorial and meditation by Charles Wilton Prangley (Kindly photocopied by Elizabeth Howard) Jesus College, Cambridge memorial Marlborough College Roll of Honour ley_cd.pdf&origfilename= St George's church, Ypres, history: Acknowledgements I would like to thank Elizabeth Howard who informed me about the centenary memorial compline service at Bexwell Church on the 25 th September 2016 and for all her correspondence including the photocopying of the entire Quis Separabit book. I would also like to thank Angela Vigrass and Richard Davidson and other members of Bexwell Church who I had the pleasure of meeting at the memorial service, and who put me in touch with John Pollock a relative of Doox. William Bridge, October 2016 (Great great nephew to Elizabeth Prangley the step mother to Charles Dean Prangley who brought him up after his mother died). 11

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